Performance of procrastinators: on the value of deadlines
- 704 Downloads
Earlier study has shown that procrastination can be explained by quasi-hyperbolic discounting. We present a model of effort choice over time that shifts the focus from completion of to performance on a single task. We find that being aware of the own self-control problems may reduce a person’s performance as well as his or her overall well-being, which is in contrast to the existing literature on procrastination. Extending this framework to a multi-task model, we show that interim deadlines help a quasi-hyperbolic discounter to structure his or her workload more efficiently, which in turn leads to better performance. Moreover, being restricted by deadlines increases a quasi-hyperbolic discounter’s well-being. Thus, we provide a theoretical underpinning for recent empirical evidence and numerous casual observations.
KeywordsEffort choice Deadlines (Quasi-) Hyperbolic discounting Naiveté Present-biased preferences Sophistication
JEL ClassificationA12 D11
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Akerlof G. A. (1991) Procrastination and obedience. American Economic Review 81: 1–19Google Scholar
- Fischer, C. (1999) Read this paper even later: Procrastination with time-inconsistent preferences. Resources for the Future discussion paper 99-20.Google Scholar
- Laibson D. (1996) Hyperbolic discount functions, undersaving, and savings policy. NBER Working Paper Series, No.5635, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
- O’Donoghue T., Rabin M. (1999a) Addiction and self-control. In: Elster J. (eds) Addiction: Entry and Exits. Russel Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- O’Donoghue T., Rabin M. (2001a) Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences. working paper. University of California, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
- O’Donoghue T., Rabin M. (2005) Incentives and Self-Control. working paper, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
- Sarafidis, Y. (2005). Inter-temporal price discrimination with time inconsistent consumers. Working paper, Yale University.Google Scholar
- Skiba P. M., Tobacman J. (2008). Payday Loans, Uncertainty, and Discounting: Explaining Patterns of Borrowing, Repayment, and Default. working paper, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
- Strotz R. H. (1956) Myopia and inconsistency in dynamic utility maximization. Review of Economic Studies 23: 156–180Google Scholar
- Tobacman J. (2007) The partial Naivete Euler equation. working paper, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar